This Verizon-Powered Virtual Art Experience Brings The Met to You
this-verizon-powered-virtual-art-experience-brings-the-met-to-you

This Verizon-Powered Virtual Art Experience Brings The Met to You

By  |  January 14, 2021  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

Museums in New York are open with Covid-19-compliant rules, staggered entry and limited capacity. But art lovers still might not feel comfortable going to see their favorite galleries during a pandemic, so Verizon and The Metropolitan Museum of Art developed a unique new way to experience the museum from home.

The art of un-framing

The telecommunications company partnered with the largest art museum in the U.S. to launch The Met Unframed, a virtual, mobile-only experience featuring more than a 12 digitally-rendered galleries and nearly 50 works of art from across The Met’s expansive collection.

The five-week experience, accessible at themetunframed.com from any 4G or 5G smart device, also allows users to play games that unlock augmented-reality (AR) versions of the art that can be displayed virtually at home.

“The Met Unframed enhances digital inclusivity for an audience that may have never experienced art in such a personal way,” Verizon chief creative officer Andrew McKechnie said. “We’re utilizing the power of technology and enhancements enabled by Verizon 5G to provide extensive access, in-depth education, and opportunities for interactivity and sharing, for beloved works of art from one of the world’s most renowned museums.”

Putting the AR in ‘art’

The Met director Max Hollein added that the experience allows people to “learn more about the works in a playful way and, through AR, enjoy bringing the art into one’s own surroundings. The Met Unframed expands the ways in which we can understand, experience and appreciate art.”

Verizon tapped production studio Unit9 to work with The Met’s curatorial team to digitally render some of the museum’s iconic locations and displays, such as the Great Hall and the Temple of Dendur. Unit9 senior producer Jason Legge said the process began in August, with his team ultimately curating four digital galleries aligned with the themes of power, home, nature and spirituality. 

“The most challenging part of the process was also the most fun: recreating the most iconic art institution in the US in WebGl,” Legge said. “The games were actually the simplest part—so much craft went into the Great Hall, Dendur and every inch of the museum.”

The convergence of art and tech

The famous art that AR brings to life includes Emanuel Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851) and The Unicorn Rests in a Garden (1495-1505) from The Met Cloisters’ Unicorn Tapestries, both of which are accessible to users on Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband.

Additional games within the experience, including trivia questions, riddles and a “Zoom and Spot” challenge, also encourage close observation of the art and accompanying descriptions and content. Another game, “Analysis,” uses The Met’s infrared and XRF conservation documentation scans of paintings to offer a peek at underdrawings and other hidden details of The Met paintings, which might go unnoticed during an in-person visit. 

“The convergence of art and tech is stronger and more important than ever so here’s hoping we helped inspire people,” Legge added. “I’m personally really hopeful that we inspired copycat projects in the near future. I’d love to see other agencies and institutions attempt something similar.”

CREDITS:

Production Company – Unit9

Mindy Lubert – Head of Production

Giacomo Vigliar – Business Director

Jason Legge – Senior Producer

Jakub Jakubowski – Games Director

Evi Nathanaili – Project Manager

Karol Goreczny – Art Director

Scott Ashmore – Technical Director

Max Rusan – Technical Lead

Luc Palombo – Lead Developer

William To – Front-end Developer

Julian Faas – Motion Designer

Mathew Borrett – 3D Environment Artist

Shaun Larkin – 3D Artist

Dani Valkova – Sound Designer

Isabelle Kim – UX Lead

Luis Chique – 3D Animator

James Stokes – QA Lead

Alex Hughes – Copywriter

Davide Bianca – Creative Director (Pitch only)

Yifei Chai – Creative Director (Pitch only)

Romain Demongeot – Creative Director (Pitch only)

About the Author: Ian Zelaya

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